Judge has surgery; Ohtani on way?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Apparently Aaron Judge hit a lot of his 52 HR on a damaged shoulder. Judge slumped after the All-Star break, but rebounded to hit 15 HR in September. He had a poor ALDS vs. the Indians, but went 6 for 24 with 2 doubles and 3 HR against Houston in the ALCS.

Could a couple of cortisone shots have helped him in September and in the ALCS?

Judge had surgery Monday on his left shoulder, the one the press said he was icing for a while, to clear out some debris in there. He should be OK for the beginning of spring training.

But he was most likely playing with it like that for a while. Not bad for damaged goods, eh?

Meanwhile, MLB passed a new posting setup with Japan, so Shohei Ohtani looks like he is coming over to play MLB baseball, and the Yankees are the heavy favorite to land the 23 year old.

If you have access to youtube, pull up his highlights and watch them. He could be a combination of Masahiro Tanaka and Hideki Matsui in ONE PACKAGE.

Wow.

A guy who pitches AND hits that well. And the $20MM posting fee does not count against the cap, and the Yankees got extra bonus $ to throw at him. He would come, salary-wise, cheap, and only the salary goes against the cap.

The Yanks have to take a chance on him. Hits 100 MPH on the mound, lefty power hitter at the plate.

Does both well, hence the nickname the “Japanese Babe Ruth.” Think of Babe, ca. 1918 & 1919.

And the Yanks are the heavy favorites to land him. Recruiting pitches from Tanaka and Matsui should help.

The Braves were hit hard today for breaking international signing rules. Their GM was permanently barred from the game and 13 minor leaguers, including their top prospect, are now free agents.

 

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Yanks make more minor deals to set 40-man roster, get more $$ for Ohtani.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks made more minor deals today to free up more 40-man roster space and also got a little more international money that they could put towards Shohei Ohtani.

In one deal, they dealt Ronald Herrera, 22, to the Rangers for pitching prospect Reivar Sanmartin. Herrera was 0-1, 6.00 in 2 games, 3 IP, for the Yanks this year. Sanmartin, 21, is a LHP who had a 2.45 ERA at A ball. If the Yanks lose Herrera in the Rule 5 draft they can lose him for nothing, and they wanted something back. They also had people they wanted to protect on the 40 man roster who they felt were better than Herrera.

In another deal, they dealt Garrett Cooper and Caleb Smith to the Marlins. Cooper, a 1B, played in 13 games for the Yanks this year, going .326-0-6, and Smith was 0-1, 7.71 in 9 games, 2 starts. They got some international bonus $, which they could use toward Ohtani, and pitching prospect Mike King, 22. King had a 3.14 ERA at low A.

As for Ohtani, MLB extended the posting deadline to reach an agreement with Japan 24 hours. It is expected that if Ohtani is posted, the Yanks would be the heavy favorite to land him.

If they do, then they probably wouldn’t need to re-sign CC or go after Alex Cobb. Peter Gammons thinks the Cubs and Yankees are the favorites for Cobb, but if the Yanks get Ohtani, then they don’t need Cobb or CC.

Cobb, 30, is 48-35 in his MLB career, all with Tampa Bay. ERA 3.50, ERA+ 111.

With the minor deals, the Yanks were able to add to the 40 man roster Gleyber Torres, Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo, Thairo Estrada, Billy McKinney and Jonathan Loaisiga. I am a bit surprised Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield aren’t on the 40 man. The additions of Abreu, Acevedo and Loaisiga over Adams and Sheffield surprise me.

Hideki Matsui joins Johnny Damon, Kerry Wood and Andruw Jones as newcomers on the HOF ballot who once played for the Yankees. I don’t expect any to make it this year. All may be close but no cigar.

Matsui presents a special case. Are they judging him by just his MLB career (175 HR) or by his Japanese and MLB careers (507 HR)?

Damon had over 2700 hits and over 400 SB in his career, Jones over 400 HR with 10 Gold Glove Awards.

They join Mussina and Clemens on the ballot.

 

First impressions, and an endorsement from an unexpected source?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We can’t read the minds of the Yankees’ front office, but mlbtr.com through Jon Heyman reports that

The Yankees’ first round of interviews seemingly went well, Heyman writes. Boone and Meulens, in particular, “aced” their initial interviews, according to Heyman.

Meanwhile, Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens got support from what may be an unlikely source, an AL East manager he would have to be going up against if he gets the Yankees’ manager job—-Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Check out the story on the link below.

https://nypost.com/2017/11/18/hensley-meulens-has-all-the-intangibles-buck-showalter/

Yanks interview Woodward, make minor trade.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks interviewed Dodger coach Chris Woodward today for the managerial position. Woodward becomes the fifth candidate to interview for the job.

They also made a minor trade. From MLB.com:

The Yankees and Mariners have agreed to a deal that will send Minor League pitchers JP Sears and Juan Then to New York in exchange for Minor League right-hander Nick Rumbelow, the clubs announced Saturday.

Sears, a left-hander, went 1-2 with a 0.65 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings combined between Class A Short-Season Everett and Class A Clinton in 2017. The 21-year-old was selected in the 11th round in ’17 by Seattle.

Then, 17, was signed by the Mariners as a free agent in 2017. The right-hander went 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 61 1/3 frames while making 13 starts for the Dominican Summer League Mariners.

Rumbelow was a seventh-round selection in 2013 by the Yankees. The 26-year-old is 14-8 with a 2.73 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 175 innings throughout his five seasons in the Minors. He went 1-1 with a 4.02 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 15 2/3 frames for the big league club in 2015.

Boone interviews for Yankees’ managerial position, Woodward next?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Aaron Boone has interviewed for the Yanks’ vacant managerial position, the fourth candidate after Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, and Hensley Meulens to do so.

Boone is the first to do so who doesn’t have previous coaching or managerial experience.

Chris Woodward of the Dodgers is probably slated to be interviewed next.

MLB.com has stated that Hal Steinbrenner has said that there will be less than ten candidates.

Some candidates, like Raul Ibanez, and Brad Ausmus have taken themselves out of consideration by stating that they weren’t interested at the present time.

From the NY Post:

Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on Feb. 13. Position players arrive on Feb. 18 and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 19.

Their spring training schedule begins on Feb.23 against the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. They will visit the Mets on March 7 in Port St. Lucie and host their crosstown rivals on March 10.

The exhibition season ends for a second straight year in Atlanta, where they play the Braves on March 26 before they open the regular season in Toronto on March 29.

The Arizona Fall league has their championship game today, but Scottsdale isn’t one of the teams, so for the Yankees’ prospects, their Arizona Fall League is over.

Judge runnerup in MVP voting. Yanks interview Meulens. AFL News.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Aaron Judge finished 2nd in the MVP voting to Jose Altuve. I thought the vote would be closer, but it was no contest. Altuve received 27 of the 30 first place votes to win quite easily. Judge got 2 first place votes and 27 votes for second place.

In the NL, it was a razor-thin victory for Giancarlo Stanton, who won by just 2 points over Joey Votto. Both received 10 first place votes out of 30 but Stanton, barely, got more support up top than Votto.

Other Yankees to receive consideration were Didi Gregorius, who finished in a tie for 20th, and Gary Sanchez, who finished in a tie for 22nd.

We have a spelling correction. It’s Ohtani, not Otani, for the Japanese sensation.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 7-4.

Yankees’ prospects:

DH Thairo Estrada 1 for 4, RBI. .342
RF Estevan Florial 2 for 4, scored 2 runs, triple, struck out 2x. .286

The Yanks interviewed Hensley (Bam-Bam) Meulens yesterday for the managerial opening. Meulens was a top and failed prospect for the Yanks in the late 1980s, early 1990s. He has been a hitting coach and bench coach for the Giants and as such, won 3 rings (2010, 2012, 2014) and has managed in the WBC (Netherlands, featuring Didi Gregorius) and in winter ball. Meulens speaks five languages.

Of course, if the Yanks select someone like Meulens, they would break their managerial color barrier. No Yankees manager has been anything but white.

Maybe if Elston Howard would have lived, instead of succumbing to a heart condition at the age of 51, he would have become manager of the Yankees. We’ll never know.

Seve 3rd in CYA voting. AFL news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer were named the winners of the CYA in the AL and NL respectively.

The Yankees’ Luis Severino placed 3rd for the AL Cy Young Award, behind Kluber and Chris Sale.

I’m a little surprised that Scherzer beat Clayton Kershaw by such a wide margin (Scherzer’s teammate, Stephen Strasburg, finished third). Kershaw won more games, had the lower ERA. Scherzer struck out more because he started four more games than Scherzer. For Scherzer, his third CYA, matching Kershaw.

For Kluber, his 2nd CYA.

Tomorrow, we find out the MVPs and if Aaron Judge wins or is runnerup.

In the Arizona Fall League, Sxottsdale lost, 4-1.

Yankees prospects:

1b Billy McKinney 1 for 4, double. 2 strikeouts. .279

Andrew Schwaab RP, 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 6.35
Cody Carroll, RP, 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00

Remember that recent Yankees’ prospects who have starred in the Arizona Fall League are Greg Bird and Gleyber Torres.

Hal Steinbrenner confirmed that he thought the same way as Cashman, that it was time for Girardi to go, and he’s felt this way for a few years, not a few weeks. Hal said that he agreed with the decision, and it was a confirmation of the decision from Hal, not a persuasion.